A month ago when I said we were busy, I just had NO IDEA what the term busy actually meant when you’re a home owner.
These last days and weeks have been a blur of dust, sanding, late nights and good old fashioned hard work. We are moving two weeks from tomorrow. Our goal is to have as much of the dirty and messy stuff done before we have to live there. So, we’ve taken our challenge extremely seriously and are trying to get as much changed, painted and sanded as we can!
More than a few times we’ve felt completely overwhelmed about what we’ve gotten ourselves into. Paint the kitchen cabinets. Tear out part of the kitchen ceiling. Paint all the rooms. Redo all the baseboard trim. Remove all paneling. There have been nights of little progress followed by weekends of huge, measurable progress! These past weeks have taken our marriage into uncharted waters.
When we were engaged so many people told us that if we can plan a wedding and survive the planning, then marriage will be a cake walk for us.
If you survive home renovations without losing your mind, then the other days in your marriage will be pretty easy.
I promise I haven’t left my little slice of the internet. And I promise to bring more detailed posts of what we’ve been doing over there soon. There will be some juicy before-and-after posts. I can’t wait to share with you!
We’re slowly approaching the finish line, with some more late nights and long days ahead. I know we’ll look back at this time with sweet memories of how two new, naive home owners tried to conquer their 1977 ranch in just six short weeks. In between the dust, noise and sweat of the work we’re doing, I get glimpses of how our home will look in a month, a year and five years. I think about the dinners we’ll share around our table (in our newly dry walled kitchen), the pathways our kids are going to take as they learn to walk and eventually run around our house, and the conversations and laughter that will fill the halls.
On a completely related note—
I’ve been reading this book, Bread & Wine: a love letter to life around the table, by one of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist over these last weeks, well really last two months or so. My sister introduced me to her books a few years ago. Shauna’s books (she has three now) are really little essays or short chapters about life. It’s easy to read just a chapter or two a night before bed because they’re short, but packed full of her godly wisdom about this life.
This book could not have come at a more perfect time in my life. The pages are filled with stories of how life happens around a table and around food. She talks about hospitality, opening your kitchen to those who you love and those who you barely know.
She says “this is a collection of essays about family, friendships and the meals that bring us together. It’s about the way God teaches and nourishes us as we nourish the people around us, about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.”
I took a highlighter to the pages. Shauna’s way of writing is so personal, so simple, yet so powerful and inspiring. When I read the chapters, I feel as if I’m sitting across from her at her kitchen table and she’s telling me stories.
Jake and I have been talking about potential dates/months for a little housewarming party. We’ve thrown around a ton of ideas, most followed with the reason “if we wait until then, hopefully _______ will be done”. If we wait until our house if perfect, then we’ll never have a party! In the midst of having those conversations, I read this in Bread & Wine. It was perfect timing:
“This is why the door stays closed for so many of us, literally and figuratively. One friend promises she’ll start having people over when they finally have money to remodel. Another says she’d be too nervous that people wouldn’t eat the food she made, so she never makes the invitation.
But it isn’t about perfection, and it isn’t about performance. You’ll miss the richest moments in life- the sacred moments when we feel God’s grace and presences through the actual faces and hands of the people we love- if you’re too scared or too ashamed to open the door. I know it’s scary, but throw open the door anyway, even though someone might see you in your terribly ugly half-zip.” pg. 109
This is why all three of her books are in my nightstand. So much wisdom for so many areas of my life.
The recipes she shares are mouth-watering. Due to our crazy schedule, I haven’t made any yet, but when things slow down next month I plan on trying at least one of these:
goat cheese biscuits
Even if you’re not in a home-owning, “I love to cook” chapter of life, there are bits and pieces of Shauna’s beautiful words and ideas and stories that you’ll connect with- I promise.
I could keep going on and on about this book, but I won’t. If you ask me about it in person, I might not be able to stop myself!
Thanks for your patience and for your understanding of why I’ve been absent from here lately.
I promise we’re doing well, and that we’re staying super safe. (safety goggles, masks and all!)
PSST- Just so you know, I was given an advance copy of the book to read and talk about to you. But, even if I had purchased it, I would have told you the same things as I did today!